Undergraduate Catalog 2013 - 2014

Policies and Procedures

Students should consult other regular University publications for announcements and procedures regarding University policies. These publications include, but are not limited to, the Undergraduate Catalog, the Student Handbook, and the University website. The complete Student Disciplinary Code is published in the Student Handbook

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Policy

The Counseling, Health and Wellness Center is a certified rapid HIV testing center and offers free CONFIDENTIAL testing to all students. Tests are done by appointment only. Although the University may be unaware that infected students may be unreasonably engaged in conduct that threatens the health of others, we will attempt to offer protection to the community at large while still protecting the rights of the person with HIV.

Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination against individual(s) with disabilities. No qualified student with disabilities at William Paterson University is to be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subjected to, discrimination under any program or activities of the college community. The knowledge that a given individual is carrying HIV could have such a profound and possibly irrational effect upon the recipient of this information who then might take steps that could easily compromise the campus life of the individual in question. The likelihood is that such information could not legally be placed in any non-medical files without the expressed written permission of the student, according to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. This Act would probably apply to any verbal communication as well, and thus confidentiality must extend to faculty, administrators, other students, and even partners.

The diagnosis of HIV or AIDS can be made by any appropriately trained medical provider and will then be reported to the New Jersey State Department of Health in accordance with state laws. The hospital or the student may report back the results of such testing, which are confidential, as part of the student health record. Often, a student would continue outside health care and not report to the Student Health Service. Education and counseling are available through the Counseling Center and the Health and Wellness Center when requested.

Family Educatitonal Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

William Paterson University complies with the requirements of the FAMILY EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT (FERPA).

Students may authorize release of their academic, financial aid, student account and/or disciplinary records to a third party (i.e.., parents, grandparents, etc.) by completing the FERPA form on-line.  You may adjust access to the respective records at any time by simply logging into WPConnect Self Service Online Services under “Enrollment Services”.  These permissions will remain active until your anticipated date of graduation. 

Student Disciplinary Code Students’ Rights and Responsibilities

A) Students and student organizations should be free to examine and discuss all questions of interest to them and to express opinions publicly and privately. They should always be free to support, by orderly means, causes that do not disrupt the regular and essential operations of the University. [For more information regarding this matter, please refer to the University Demonstration policy.]

B) Students have the right to affiliate with student organizations and engage in activities, provided those activities adhere to normal University policies and do not jeopardize the health, safety, or welfare of members of the University community.

C) It is the responsibility of all students of the University to adhere to the letter and spirit of duly enacted University policies, rules, and regulations. Students who violate said policies, rules, and regulations are likely to face disciplinary action.

D) The University shall attempt to handle disciplinary matters in an expeditious manner.

E) The University will guarantee procedural fairness in all its disciplinary actions. 

Institutional Authority to Ensure Fulfillment of the University’s Mission

The authority to discipline students for violations of University policies, rules, and regulations is assigned by the President to the Office of the Dean of Student Development for implementation by the Dean of Student Development or his/her designee. Disciplinary action may be taken against students for violation of University policies, rules, and regulations.

Due Process and Disciplinary Procedures

It has been recognized that due process in higher education disciplinary matters does not parallel the requirements of due process in a court of law. However, the University ensures that fundamental requirements of due process in all disciplinary matters will be implemented. These requirements are:

  1. Written notification of charges and possible penalties within a reasonable time period.

  2. The opportunity either to have a hearing on the charges or waive the right to a hearing and accept the penalties to be imposed.

  3. Written notification of the time, place, and date of hearing at least three business days in advance.

  4. The opportunity to present evidence and witnesses.

  5. Written notification of findings and sanction or penalties imposed.

  6. Written notification of an appeal process.

Charges may be brought by any member of the University community or by the University itself. When charges are brought against a student for violation of University policies, rules, or regulations, the following procedures will be in effect:

  1. Charges must be in writing and submitted to the Office of the Vice President of Student Development. Charges related to incidents that occur in residence halls must be submitted to the Department of Residence Life.

  2. Any charge should be filed as soon as possible after an incident takes place, preferably within one week’s time.

  3. When the allegations of a given case are deemed serious, and/or may have a significant impact on the overall campus community, the Office of the Vice President of Student Development reserves the right to convene the University Hearing Board to address the issue. Cases that are serious enough to warrant suspension or expulsion are required to be heard by the University Hearing Board .

  4. Alleged violations that are not deemed serious enough to warrant suspension or expulsion may be handled by the Vice President of Student Development’s designee.

NOTE: The entire policy and procedures are published in the Student Handbook.

Discrimination Complaint Procedure for Students

The University has promulgated both informal and formal procedures for resolving student complaints of discrimination. Any student who believes that he or she has been discriminated against on the basis of race, sex (including sexual harassment), age, national origin, religion, marital status, physical or mental handicap, or sexual orientation should follow the procedures outlined in the Discrimination Complaint Procedure for Students. The entire procedure is published in the Student Handbook.

Demonstration Guidelines and Procedures

The University is committed to the principles of academic freedom and deliberative discourse. All members of the campus community are encouraged to participate fully in the academic life and governance of the institution through various administrative and advisory committees, in the performance of their respective roles, and in all forums, formal and informal, for debate and deliberation.

Recognizing that a healthy and productive climate for debate involves a provision for criticism and dissent, the University affirms the right of those including students, faculty, staff, and members of the public who dissent from conditions, issues, or proposed actions to express their views by whatever orderly means they deem appropriate, preserving the rights of others to their beliefs and opinions. Protest and dissent by verbal and other symbolic means are, therefore, protected.

Protest and dissent which interfere with the freedom of speech, assembly, or ability to carry on normal activities among any individuals or groups exceed the bounds of protection. When, in the judgment of the President or his/her designee, dissent or protest interferes with the rights of others, actions will be taken by the President or his/her designee to rectify the situation by appropriate means.

It is the duty of the President and the administration, and the responsibility of all the members of the campus community, to affirm the rights of all protected expression and communication.


For the purpose of enhancing the campus climate and preserving the rights of individuals and groups, the University institutes the following guidelines and procedures to assist members of the community in meeting these expectations.

A. Regarding organized demonstrations:

  1. All persons or organizations intending to stage demonstrations on the William Paterson University campus must contact the Vice President of Student Development (or designee) one week prior to the event. The Vice President of Student Development will designate an appropriate area for the demonstration, i.e., one which will not restrict access to buildings or facilities or otherwise obstruct the conduct of normal activities. The Vice President of Student Development shall notify the individual or group of his/her decision regarding time, place, and manner of the event as soon as possible to allow for general notification.

B. Regarding spontaneous demonstrations

  1. Because not all conditions, events, or actions that stimulate dissent may themselves be foreseeable, and because demonstrations may emerge under such circumstances, there is an expectation that spontaneous demonstrations occur from time to time.

  2. Under these circumstances it is the responsibility of both the Vice President of Student Development (or designee) and the demonstrating parties to cooperate with the aim of supporting the rights of all and protecting the safety of all while enabling the expression of opinion.

  3. The Vice President of Student Development and dissenting parties will therefore negotiate:

    • To seek to remedy the situation which gives rise to the demonstration, if possible or appropriate, or

    • To provide a forum for the expression of opinion and the continuation of debate and dialogue that seeks to resolve conflict, find remedy, or allow for meaningful expression of ideas.


Since the spirit of these guidelines and procedures is violated when any party abrogates the rights of individuals or groups as outlined above, it is the responsibility of all parties to avoid such abrogation in the following ways:

  1. In the event that a demonstration or other expression of dissent becomes disruptive to the rights of others or poses a threat to health and safety, including that of the dissenting parties, the Vice President of Student Development or other designated representative of the administration in his/her absence shall assume responsibility, on behalf of the University, for presenting to the disruptive parties the concerns of the University and shall seek to provide alternative avenues for expression. In the event that accommodation is not reached, the Vice President of Student Development or other representative of the administration shall ask the disruptive parties to cease their activities.

  2. The production of noise, for instance, through the use of loudspeakers but not only by electronic or other means or other annoying effects in the environment that disrupt the activities of others will be considered a violation of any agreement regarding a scheduled or spontaneous demonstration and will result in a request to cease disruption immediately.

  3. In rare cases where activities are disruptive and the disruptive parties refuse to comply with a request to conduct alternative activities or to cease disruption, the University reserves the right and has the responsibility to the community, after due deliberation and consultation, to request the intervention of University Police to ensure the health and safety, access to facilities, and concurrence with the law.

  4. If the demonstration causes disruption, destruction, or inconvenience, the demonstration leader will be informed by the Vice President of Student Development or his/her representative that the William Paterson University Police may be called to end the demonstration if there is no compliance with the directives or if the behavior causing the disruption, destruction, or inconvenience does not cease.

Adjudication and Appeal

  1. Individuals or groups who believe that their rights have not been respected under these guidelines and procedures may seek remedy by written communication with the Vice President of Student Development.

  2. Individuals or groups who deliberately violate this policy will face sanctions following a hearing by the Office of the Vice President of Student Development.

  3. Appeal of decisions regarding complaints of the violation of rights or the imposition of sanctions shall be heard by the Vice President of Student Development.

  4. In rare circumstances, when no other avenue is to be discovered for adjudication and appeal, the President or his/her designee shall appoint a mediating team to discover the facts of a situation and make recommendations regarding appropriate remedies or sanctions. The decision of the President or his/her delegated representative, following this review, shall be the final decision of the University.

Extracurricular Activities: Participation and Policy

  1. Extracurricular activities are here defined as participation in any clubs, programs or organizations that are recognized by the University or any of its agencies for which academic credit is not received.

  2. All extracurricular activities shall be open to all full-time and part-time students who have paid the appropriate student activity fees, except where the organizations are members of national bodies that have more stringent requirements.

  3. Students in leadership positions are required:

    • to maintain a minimum GPA of 2.3 throughout their term in office. Students without GPAs (first semester first-year students and transfer students) will be permitted to participate, but continuance will depend upon meeting said GPA requirements after their first term here at William Paterson University.
    • to carry a minimum of 9 credits (undergraduate) or 6 (graduate) each semester for spring and fall.


  1. Students who do not maintain this standard will become ineligible to continue in a leadership position(s).
  2. Individual organizations may require higher academic standards for their leadership positions.
  3. Members of clubs and organizations are required to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 or greater. Those students whose cumulative average falls below 2.0 will be placed on extracurricular probation.
  4. Students whose cumulative GPA falls below the minimum requirement of a 2.0 are strongly encouraged to seek out campus resources like the Academic Support Center or their departmental offices to develop those skills needed to raise their academic grade point average to once again actively participate in campus activities.
  5. Students whose “term” GPA falls below 2.0 or two terms consecutively are also placed on extracurricular probation.
  6. Students on extracurricular probation must not participate in extracurricular activities including, but not limited to holding leadership positions, volunteering or engaging in the development and implementation of campus activities, etc.
  7. The Office of Campus Activities and Student Leadership will periodically monitor student progress and take any needed action to address those students on extracurricular probation.

Proof of Immunization

The State of New Jersey has enacted legislation that requires students enrolled at William Paterson University to provide proof of immunization against measles, mumps, and rubella and Hepatitis B. In addition, the State of New Jersey has enacted legislation (A1546) requiring new resident students at a four-year institution of higher education to provide proof of immunization of the Meningococcal vaccine. The following documents will be accepted as evidence of immunization history provided the specific immunization and the exact date of each immunization administered are recorded.

  1. An official school immunization record from any primary or secondary school in New Jersey indicating compliance with the immunization requirements of N.J.A.C. 9:2-14.3.
  2. A record from any public health department indicating compliance with the immunization requirements of N.J.A.C. 9:2-14.3.
  3. A record signed by a physician licensed to practice medicine or osteopathy in any jurisdiction of the United States or foreign country or other licensed health professional approved by the New Jersey State Department of Health indicating compliance with the immunization requirements of N.J.A.C. 9:2-14.3.


  1. Any student born before January 1,1957 will be exempt from documenting the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine only.
  2. If immunization conflicts with religious beliefs, it is necessary for the student to file a statement specifically stating the religious doctrine that prohibits the vaccination.
  3. If a student has a medical contraindication to the vaccine, he or she must provide a written statement from a licensed medical provider. The statement must include the reason and specific period of time the vaccine is contraindication.

All students are required to submit the University Health Form, which includes a completed health record and current immunization information. Immunizations for tetanus, meningitis, and a test for tuberculosis are highly recommended for all University students.

Please submit all documentation to the Counseling, Health and Wellness Center, Overlook South. Failure to file proper documentation will prevent continued enrollment at the University. Contact the Counseling, Health and Wellness Center with any questions regarding the immunization requirements.

Affirmative Action Policy

William Paterson University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, sex, religion, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability. University policies and practices are consistent with federal and state laws pertaining to equal opportunity in admission and education policies, scholarship, loan, athletic, and other school-administered programs.

Specifically, William Paterson University complies with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and all of their respective implementing regulations.

Sexual Harassment Policy

William Paterson University is committed to developing and sustaining a community where all can learn and work together free from harassment and exploitation. This policy is intended to address all members of the University community including students, faculty, librarians, professional staff, clerical staff, maintenance, campus police and security, managers, administrators, and the Board of Trustees, as well as any vendors doing business with the University.

Sexual harassment encompasses any sexual attention that is unwanted. Sexual harassment can be verbal, visual, or physical. It can range from repeated unwelcome sexual flirtation and inappropriate gender-based put-downs of individuals or groups of people to physical abuses, such as sexual assault or rape. Whether particular verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct constitutes harassment in violation of this policy depends upon all of the circumstances involved, the context in which the conduct occurred, and the frequency, severity, and pattern of the conduct.

The University recognizes that even the possibility of harassment is destructive to individuals, to groups, and to the community. While sexual harassment most often takes place in situations where there is a power differential between the persons involved, the University recognizes that sexual harassment may occur between persons of the same status. Sexual harassment may also occur between persons of the same sex.

Sexual harassment contaminates teacher/student and supervisor/subordinate relationships as well as those among student peers and faculty or staff colleagues. When, through fear of reprisal, a student, staff member, or faculty member submits or is pressured to submit to unwanted sexual attention, the entire community is undermined.

The University will not tolerate among members of the community, behavior that creates an unacceptable working or educational environment, and it will initiate appropriate sanctions against the offender.

Legal Definitions

Effective September 1, 1993, all New Jersey State departments, colleges/universities, and authorities are required to abide by the state’s Sexual Harassment Policy. This policy follows federal and state laws as outlined in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended; N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 et. seq.; Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments; N.J.S.A.11A; 1-1 et. seq.; N.J.A.4A:7-1.3.

Sexual harassment includes but is not limited to:

Gender harassment: generalized gender-based remarks and behavior;

Seductive behavior: inappropriate, unwanted, and offensive physical or verbal sexual advances;

Sexual bribery: solicitation of sexual activity or other sexual behaviors by promise of reward;

Sexual coercion: coercion of sexual activity by threat of punishment; and

Sexual assault: gross sexual imposition, like touching, fondling, grabbing, or assault. For general policy purposes, sexual harassment may be described as unwelcome sexual advances, requests to engage in sexual conduct, and other physical and expressive behavior of a sexual nature. The courts have classified cases in two ways:

  1. Quid-pro-quo: when submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic status; and/or submission or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis of employment decisions or academic decisions affecting that individual. Quid-pro-quo harassment is equally unlawful whether the person resists and suffers the threatened harm or submits and thus avoids the threatened harm.
  2. Hostile environment: when such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s academic or professional performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or demeaning employment or educational environment. A cause of action is established if the complained-of conduct would not have occurred but for the student or employee’s gender, and it was severe or pervasive enough to make a reasonable person of the same sex believe that the conditions of learning and/or employment are altered and the environment is hostile or abusive.

The courts have recognized that the harassing behaviors affect a third party when academic or work benefits are denied because of the sex-biased coercion of another student or employee; or when the conduct directed at another student or employee is so pervasive as to create a hostile learning or working environment. Favoritism, or perceptions of favoritism, that result from consensual relationships may also contribute to a hostile work or learning environment and constitute third party harassment.

Reasonable Woman Standard

The courts have recognized that the difficulty in defining the unwelcome, hostile, or offensive nature of an environment may lie in the fact that men and women may disagree as to what constitutes offensive, degrading conduct. In response to this key issue, the courts have adopted a “reasonable woman” standard. Under this standard, attention is focused on the victim’s perspective. In the typical case, in which a woman is the target of harassment, a claim would be found to be harassment if a “reasonable woman” would consider the action hostile or offensive. In other cases, the standard of the court would concern whether or not a reasonable person of the same gender, similarly situated, considered the action hostile or offensive.

Examples of Sexual Harassment

As reported in “Sexual Harassment on Campus: A Policy and Program of Deterrence” by the American Council on Education, examples of harassment include, but are not limited to:

Threats that submission to sexual advances will be a condition of employment, work status, promotion, grades, living situations, or letters of recommendation (the threat can be overt or implied from the conduct, circumstances, and relationship of the person involved);

  • Unwelcome sexual advances, whether direct propositions of a sexual nature or subtle pressure for sexual activity;

  • Persistent, unwanted attempts to change a professional or educational relationship into a personal one; Verbal abuse of a sexual nature; Repeated sexually oriented kidding, teasing, joking, or flirting;

  • Graphic commentary about an individual’s body, clothing, sexual prowess, or sexual deficiencies; Demeaning or derogatory gender-based comments about a particular group, whether sexual or not;

  • Leering, whistling, touching, pinching, or brushing against another’s body;

  • Offensive, crude language; Display of objects or pictures that are sexual in nature, creating a hostile or offensive work, learning, or living environment

  • Behavior of a sexual nature that discomforts or humiliates and demonstrates insensitivity.

Consensual Relations

The University’s educational mission is promoted by professionalism in employee/student relationships. Consensual amorous relationships between supervisors and their subordinates, or faculty and students undermine the ethical integrity of the University community. Such relationships are problematic for the people involved and may have a negative impact on others in the work environment.

Other students and employees may be affected by such unprofessional behavior because it may place or may be perceived to place the staff/faculty member in a position to favor or advance one person’s interest at the expense of others, and implicitly makes obtaining benefits contingent on amorous or sexual favors.


  • No faculty member shall have an amorous relationship (consensual or otherwise) with a student who is enrolled in his or her course and/or whose academic work is being evaluated by the faculty member. No staff member shall have an amorous relationship with a student whom the staff member has the power to penalize or reward.

  • A staff/faculty member who fails to withdraw from participation in activities or decisions that may reward or penalize a student with whom the staff/faculty member has or has had an amorous relationship is deemed to have violated his or her ethical obligation to the student, other students, colleagues, and the University.

  • Supervisory staff/faculty who engage in consensual relationships with individuals they supervise or their students should be aware that they are violating University policy and are subject to formal disciplinary action, up to and including removal.

Copies of the Sexual Harassment Policies and Complaint Procedure can be also obtained from these offices:

  • Associate Vice President and Dean of Student Development
  • Women’s Center
  • Associate Vice President for Human Resources
  • Director of Employment Equity and Diversity

A more inclusive list of persons serving as sexual harassment contact persons is available through the offices listed above.


William Paterson University
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, New Jersey 07470